“Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss; but every once in a while, you find someone who’s iridescent, and once you do, nothing will ever compare.” – Chet/Flipped
You see, I’ve had this book in my bookshelf for two years now. A friend gave it to me saying it was really good but if you’re given a book with a chick on the cover and “teenage angst” thrown in as an introduction, no matter how you’re assured it’s a “different kind of love story,” would you touch it or not? Especially when you’re, you know, so over teenage romance paperbacks.
So yeah, it took two years for me to finally flip, well, Flipped open. And all it took was five hours (with other distractions in between, including sniffing and then finally bawling my eyes out) to finish it.
I lined Flipped as my March book and it’s become one of my favorite books of all time, alongside The Little Prince. You know, books that will stay with you for a long time, and maybe, just like what happened to Bryce and Juli, change your life?
Flipped, published in 2010, was written by Wendelin Van Draanen, who is American (her parents immigrated from The Netherlands and that explains her Dutch-sounding name). She’s a famous writer of children’s and young adult fiction, and the way she writes Flipped is really so ingenious, not to say it’s the first time it’s done.
Flipped is written from the point-of-view of Bryce and Juli, in alternating chapters. So each milestone of their lives, from the moment they met when they were seven up to the time they were in eighth grade, is told from their POVs. It’s a he-said-she-said if you like, told in a very engaging, often hilarious way and may even remind you of your own growing-up years and the mischief and all those growing-up pain that came with it. And oh yes, the first time a boy ever made you flip. And you also see the story from the POV of the boy and when he finally flipped.
The charm of the writing jumps out of the pages like magic that you feel the angst, disgust, hatred, confusion, and utter love of the lead characters as they go through their journey through youth and their discovery of things beyond their own little worlds.
It’s teenage angst and romance all right, but not in a sappy, paperback romance kind of way. It’s deep but not preachy. It’s also about school, family, friends, and coming to terms with reality and life.
The ending makes it even more definite that it’s not the garden variety of teen romance novels. Flipped fans have been hoping for a sequel but apparently, Ms Van Draanen has rejected the idea. I would agree so because it may just ruin the beauty of Bryce and Jul’s story by cheapening it and reducing it into the usual young romance. And yes, there is a movie version. But I’m resisting the idea of watching because it might just ruin my image of the book.
So I’ll just read it again.
Thanks to my friend for making me flip.
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